Can an internship for grown-ups help you?
THE Government has announced a £5 million fund to help parents return to work after a career break. But how do these so- called ‘returnships’ work? Emma Bowman, now a senior manager at Lloyds Banking Group, says: ‘Fifteen years ago, I decided to take an extended career break to raise my six children.
‘But when I wanted to return to the City, my job applications were rejected because of my career break.’
So Emma researched returnships and found the Lloyds Banking Group Returners Programme. Those on the scheme receive training and mentoring. At the end, Emma was offered a job.
She says: ‘Anyone struggling to make the transition back into work should consider a returnship. It bridges the gap for people with a career break on their CV.’
Fiona Cannon, director of inclusion and diversity at Lloyds Banking Group, says: ‘A career break should not be viewed as a disadvantage. It’s experience and transferable leadership skills that are important.’
Employers offering returnships include the Home Office, IT firm Capgemini, Balfour Beatty and KPMG. See womenreturners.com.
Research in 2016 from accountants PwC estimated 427,000 UK women are on a career break and likely to return — but 65 per cent could be working below their potential.
The figures suggest the career break penalty amounts to about £4,000 for each woman.
Laura Hinton, head of people at PwC, says: ‘It’s great to see the Government’s cash injection to promote returnships.
‘They are a great way to break down the career break penalty.’